Monday, April 20, 2009

Serving Sizes

I’ve been on a 1000 calorie per day diet, or so I thought.  For breakfast and lunch I’ve been eating two lowfat Newberry muffins, which each have 160 calories per serving. 

So, for two muffins, I figured I was having 320 calories for breakfast, 320 calories for lunch, leaving 360 calories for a sensible dinner.  I just found out Newberry purports that each muffin contains two servings.  Who eats half a muffin???  And even if I only ate half the muffin and had someone to share it with, who wants a half-eaten muffin?

Now I come to find out I’ve been having 640 calories for breakfast, 640 calories for lunch and, truth be told, my dinners aren’t always so sensible.  I found similar issues with my pickle servings.

Vlasic says one serving of pickle has 1 carb and 5 calories. Good diet food. On further inspection, I realized that one serving ACCORDING TO VLASIC is 3/4 of a pickle spear. 

So you eat 3/4 of a pickle as a serving  but then what. Now you have 1/4 of a pickle left and a bunch of full pickles. So the next serving you have to take your 1/4 piece (which will be close to impossible to get from the jar) and a 1/2 piece from one of the full pickles leaving a 1/2 piece in the jar with all the other full pickles.  So now for the next serving you take that 1/2 piece (easier to get out then the 1/4 piece, but still hard to get at) and a 1/4 piece of one of the full pickles.  NOW you FINALLY have a full serving -- 3/4 of a spear -- left in the jar. That's nice because next time you can just reach in an grab that 3/4 piece as your full serving.  But that’s a lot of servings to go through before not having to cut up a pickle.

OR (I’ve thought about this a lot) you could just keep grabbing whole pickles, eating 3/4, and leaving the last quarter alone in the jar.  Not as difficult, but you will be left with a bunch of 1/4 pieces floating in the jar - which you will have to grab three of every time you want another serving.

Does this not seem like a lot of hassle just to have a serving of pickle?  I would think the pickle industry would want to make pickle-eating easy and stress free.

Why not cut the slivers differently?  Or change what is considered one serving? Why not say one whole pickle is one serving and call it a day? Apparently the Vlasic folks think that’s a lot of pickle for those whose affinity for pickles is somewhat less enthusiastic than mine. But then at least you wouldn’t have to leave any partially eaten pickles behind.  Of course growing smaller pickles is a viable option...

These are the things that keep me up at night.

PS -- You might be wondering why I have enough time to post three times in one day. So would my husband. If he read this blog. Because then he might be under the impression I had time to do things like cook and do laundry. Which I don't.  Because I'm pondering Life's Big Questions. Like pickle serving sizes. Oh, and Oprah's hair.


  1. LOL!!! Rock on sistah!

  2. I always pretent when I'm reading the calories/fat on certain foods. So, if the entire bag of chocolate mini eggs say there is 7 grams of fat in 1/4 of the bag, or something like that, I ignore the '1/4 of th bag' part and pretent the entire bag is only 7 grams of fat. That way I might be able to trick my body? But I'm not losing any weight... hmm... wonder why?!

  3. Hey Pickle Breath, that is as funny as Oprah's hair is ugly!

  4. I am constantly confounded by serving sizes. Who establishes these? And in what part of the sane world can ONE wee cookie be considered a serving?

  5. That's just ridiculous! why can't they just set up the serving sizes like we're going to eat them. A whole pickle! A whole bag of chips. A whole can of soup. They're always trying to trick us.

  6. ...a whole carton of ice cream.